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Unpublished Paper
Aiming for an Open Live Music Repository: with special reference to MIFOH 1976-89
Musicology and Digital Humanities (2014)
  • Marcus R Wigan, Oxford Systematics

MIFOH ran from 1973 to the late 1990s, latterly under a slightly different name (Autumn Festival). It was started in 1973 by Sergio di Pieri, the organist, and it played a major role in transforming the early music scene in Melbourne, creating a critical mass of support, and making the transition to the modern style of organs. The nature of the Festival, was one of engagement of all parties. All performers were expected to (and did) meet the audience at a Festival Centre after each concert, and these links helped to build a range of strong networks locally and internationally. The MIFOH official sound recorders were Peter Lord (reel to reel tape and cassette decks) and Marcus Wigan (audio cassette deck), with Jim Sosnin (reel to reel deck) on several occasions deputising for Peter Lord. The ABC broadcast a few of the concerts. These original recordings are all now held by Marcus Wigan as a private collection, who is now undertaking a research project on the following themes: 1. Technical recovery and digitising processes for such early magnetic media 2. The Intellectual Property and system design requirements for a genuinely Open live music repository system 3. The Musicology, with oral history collection, for MIFOH 1976-86 4. The indexing and full metadata of the original tapes These will provide a solid foundation for the redigitising and transfer of this collection to the Repository, as the key task after the Masters thesis has been submitted. Of the 40 Cassettes recorded by Marcus Wigan, all have been digitised to AIFF using the original Nakamichi 550 three channel cassette recorder used (with a set of three Nakamichi CM300 Microphones), using mercury cells and with cardiroid cells facing forward and a shotgun cell facing the rear) to make these recordings into a Macintosh computer in 2002. While these are generally of adequate quality, he has purchased a very recent good quality Apogee A/D Converter and will re-digitise the original tapes, and will retain both the directly captured raw sound as well as a processed version with click and hiss reduction processing using Logic Pro X. An example of the early raw AIFF capture is the concert by Halina Niecarz in 1976, accompanied by Graham Cox, after she won the Sun Aria contest. It still needs some basic cleaning up before it is a completely recovered but was provided for public audition at the 14th November Monash Music Repository relaunch and the subsequent exhibition. Two LPs were created by Move records (MCP001 and 006) for MIFOH from some of the Lord and Sosnin tapes. These are the public releases date, plus some cassettes made for Friends (all Rights retained to MIFOH), so an Open Public Repository is still possible. The final objective of the overall project is to create an Open Music Repository to hold this music with as few constraints as possible on the access, use and downloading of the materials. This final stage will follow the completion of a musicological study of the MIFOH Festival over a core period 1976-89 with some coverage of the 1973-76 and post 1989 years. The significance of the core years is that the Australian Copyright Act (1968)(Revised) defines the authorised recorders of such concerts are the unique Copyright holders, who are thereby permitted to place such recordings in the public domain. The subtle qualifications surrounding this action are discussed in this paper, together with the appropriate metadata and audit trail requirements involved. The treatment of the cultural IP aspects of international agreements on cultural issues that may affect ethnographic performance recordings are specifically excluded from this paper, as they are not appropriate for MIFOH, although may well justify some assessment wider uses of an Open Music Repository. As the long term aim is to make an Open Repository for this material, the complexities of the interactions between international Copyright and Public Domain declarations in the US and Australia are outlined, as what I legally public domain in on country may well not be in the other, and this needs to be appreciated when a global access regime via the internet is the final objective of the present program. The present paper brings these issues together in a single document.

  • Digital Humanities,
  • MIFOH,
  • Monash,
  • Melbourne,
  • metadata,
  • intellectual property,
  • performers rights,
  • open source,
  • repository,
  • music,
  • musicology
Publication Date
Summer March 28, 2014
Marcus R Wigan. 2014. "Aiming for an Open Live Music Repository: with special reference to MIFOH 1976-89" The SelectedWorks of Marcus R Wigan Available at:
Citation Information
Marcus R Wigan. "Aiming for an Open Live Music Repository: with special reference to MIFOH 1976-89" Musicology and Digital Humanities (2014)
Available at: